Fresh Links Sundae – March 30, 2014 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24270014Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

The word “Agile” in IT can take on a variety of meanings, depending on the organizational environment and context. Bob Lewis tries to explain and answer the question: What does it mean for an organization to be agile, and what does it take? How does a business become agile? (IS Survivor Publishing)

The future of IT organization is quickly evolving due to technology, so should how we practice ITSM. Courtney Bartlett recommends three news ways of thinking about ITSM in a world with ever-increasing complexity and fast-changing technologies. Revolutionize Your IT Service Management Journey: Focus On Your Customers! (Forrester Blogs)

With the advance in cloud services, more and more IT systems are being migrated into a cloud hosting environment. In a two-part series, Oded Moshe outlines six steps an organization should consider taking when migrating applications and data to cloud. What Are the First 3 Steps You Need to Take to Successfully Migrate Your Organization to Cloud? and 6 Steps to Successfully Migrate Your Organization to Cloud (SysAid Blog)

Morgan Hunter, Laszlo Gonc, Jenny Juliany, Rosanne Delaney, and Jessa Lyders of Intreis are running a blog series on compliance myths.  You can catch the last five posts in the series via the following links. Compliance Myth #6 – “Outsourcing a non-compliant process will make us compliant”  Compliance Myth #7 – “Internal Audit will detect any problems that exist.”  Compliance Myth #8 – “The right technology will make us compliant.”  Compliance Myth #9 – We don’t have enough resources to achieve compliance  Compliance Myth #10 – “Compliance is largely an IT problem” (Intreis)

The traditional website is alive and well, but the proliferation of the mobile devices require us to re-exam how we build mobile friendly websites. Lawrence Howlett walks us through the steps for planning a mobile e-commerce website that delivers productive user experience. How To Plan Your Next Mobile E-Commerce Website (Smashing Mobile)

Almost every organization has various islands of data stores. At the same time, many of them struggle to find productive or insightful ways of using the data. Larry Bonfante reminds us that the use of data is not about technology – it’s much more about using the information wisely to enhance the relationship with our customers. Big Data for Business Decisions (Enterprise Efficiency)

Good data analysis is hard to do, but bad data analysis can hurt more than help. Greg Reda goes over some useful principles to follow when tackling one of those deep-dive analyses. Principles of good data analysis (Greg Reda)

ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000 state the importance of having a definition for a major incident. Roman Jouravlev discusses one approach to define what major incidents are and what elements you will need to consider when crafting a process for handling major incidents. Major incidents in the real world (ITSM Portal)

Many organizations handle major incidents poorly because they fail to execute or don’t have a workable communication process in place. Ryan Ogilvie talks about the importance of having a major incident communication plan designed and vetted before a major incident strikes. Incident Management, Executive Gargoyles and Communication (Service Management Journey)

Sometimes the everyday life and work can make things difficult for all of us, but that does not mean we cannot invest some of our energy into something that can have a significant return. Ted Rubin helps us calculate the return on investment of taking the time to smile. What’s the ROI of a Smile? (Ted Rubin)

Fresh Links Sundae – December 22, 2013 Edition

dreamstime_xs_21045039 (175x240)Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

On the surface the two IT management approaches, DevOps and IT Service Management (ITSM), may seem dualistic in nature. In a recorded podcast, Troy DuMoulin and Chris Dancy discuss how DevOps and ITSM are undoubtedly co-dependent to each other and indivisible. PR 52 – Dev&Ops: Defining Value From Two Sides Of The Same Coin (Troy’s Blog)

Many organizations have global operations these days, and some of them deploy IT service desks with multi-language and multi-geography capability. Stephen Mann discusses some of the technology and process challenges of those global IT service desk operations, as well as good practices to consider. Multi-Geography or Multi-lingual (IT) Service Desk Good Practice – Part 1  Multi-geography or Multi-lingual (IT) Service Desk Good Practice – Part 2 (HDIConnect)

There are a number of ways to implement IT Service Management within your organization. Ryan Ogilvie shows us the approach of taking a closer look at where you are now and determining what gaps you may need to fill to move ahead. Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 1 – Your IT Teams  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 2 – Increased Number of Incidents with No Driver  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 3 – No Failed Changes, Incidents You Say?  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Part 4 – Critical Incidents vs Number of Emergency Changes  Service Management Getting Back to Basics – Conclusion – Wrapping it Together (Service Management Journey)

Many IT organizations have developed an extensive set of metrics to track and to measure performance. While measurements are necessary, Michael Scarborough reminds us the importance of structuring the measurements for overall effectiveness. CSFs and KPIs: How Many Does Your Organization Manage? (Global Knowledge Training Blog)

Statistics have shown that the large projects requiring years of implementation or millions of budget fail significantly more often than the regular, smaller projects. Pearl Zhu explains why big project can be more fragile and how to improve overall IT project success rate from the enterprise architecture perspective. Why is Big Project more Fragile (Future of CIO)

As 2013 draws to its conclusion, Andrew Horne summarizes five of CEB’s most popular topics from this year and highlight what they mean for the IT organizations in 2014. Five Lessons from 2013 (And What They Mean for 2014) (CEB’s IT Blog)

As organizations scale up the use of Agile, it can become difficult for teams to establish a shared understanding because everyone can work on multiple products or be geographically disparate. Dennis Stevens believes that you don’t have to sacrifice shared understanding for growth, and he explains how organization can still effectively scale up Agile. How to Achieve Shared Understanding When Scaling Agile (LeadingAgile)

Today’s work reality, with the perceived decline in job security and the erosion of corporate loyalty, can make it difficult for organizations to manage its talent pool. Marshall Goldsmith talks about the trends that have shaped the workplace and suggests seven approaches for an organization to retain its high performers in turbulent times. Retain Your Top Performers (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

We have learned from experience that being present and active engagements are essential in building relationships. When interacting with others in the digital space, the required “presence” can be difficult to achieve. Ted Rubin outlines the techniques we should consider when trying to build an effective relationship without being physically present. How to Look People in the Eye Digitally (Ted Rubin Straight Talk)

Taking a big idea from inception all the way to execution can be a complex process that requires much hard work of planning, adjusting, and, sometimes, retreating and starting over. Nilofer Merchant shares her experience and perspectives on how to strategize approaches for launching a new endeavor. How to Tackle The New Thing (Nilofer Merchant, LLC)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 27, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image9076544Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

With the on-going difficulties experienced at the national healthcare website, some people have attributed the difficulties to technology missteps. Michael Schrage believes that successful IT systems demand serious IT governance, and effective governance is not in place at this time. Don’t Blame IT for Obamacare’s Tech Troubles (Harvard Business Review)

With the cloud, BYOD, and other recent trends, some believe internal IT is no longer a necessity.  Bob Lewis suggests that, instead of fighting the trends, IT should lead the effort in shaping how the new trends can be leveraged for the organization’s advantage. Time to decommission IT? Lead the charge. (IS Survivor Publishing)

Many software asset management (SAM) systems have been designed to serve the singular nature of software inventory control function. Peter Bjorkman believes that is an outdated design. A multi-stakeholder approach is needed, and it will be beneficial for SAM. Shaking off SAM’s ‘solitary’ stereotype (The ITAM Review)

In response to a call for tips on building a service catalogue, Rob England explains the difference between service catalogue and request catalogue and how they should be apply in your environment. #SMFlashbook My top tip for building a service catalogue (The IT Skeptic)

For years, IT executives have had to deal with stealth technology or shadow IT set-up that could put their company’s security — and maybe their authority — at risk. Today, Tom Kaneshige suggests that IT executives see the world differently and are quick to explain that they should be ambassadors between tech vendors and business users. CIOs Want to Be Allies, Not Adversaries, With Business Users (CIO.com)

Technical debt can be defined as having unfinished tasks in an IT project. Technical debt is also a significant problem for many organizations and can contribute to considerable development issues. Russ Miller talks about the best ways to deal with technical debt. Technical Debt – Q&A With Russ Miller, CTO, SunView Software (ITSM Lens)

As work moves through the organization, it can reach a point where the whole process slows down or halts. When that happens, Sasha Dichter believes those choke points provide excellent learning opportunities. Choke points (Sasha Dichter’s Blog)

Global competition has changed the employment game. A gap has been created within the employee-employer relationship and driven largely by fear. Ted Rubin suggests that employers should start thinking of employees as an investment, instead of treating them like a commodity. Empower Your Employees… and They Will Power Your Brand! (Ted Rubin)

Marshall Goldsmith suggests that we can all increase our own interpersonal effectiveness by better understanding the powerful concept of referent groups. He explains what the concept is and how it can be a useful tool for understanding differences in organizations. Referent Groups and Diversity (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Tom Asacker believes that complicated, time-consuming, and costly processes can kill value. Organizing simple, powerful creative undertakings can do the opposite. Kill the matrix. (Tom Asacker)

Fresh Links Sundae – October 13, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-sundae-image13526471Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. Often they are from the people whose work I admire or resonate with me. More importantly, I picked these articles to help my fellow IT professionals be more successful. I hope you will find these ideas thought-provoking at the minimum. Even better, I hope these ideas will, over time, help my fellow IT pros make better decisions, be awesome, and kick ass!

More and more workplaces are demanding more hours from the employees far beyond the typical 40-hour week. If you are in one of those organizations and need to cope with it, Bob Lewis has some insight to share. Escaping the toxic workplace (IS Survivor Publishing)

With enterprises being more software driven than ever, George Colony believes that technology management leaders must not only continue to manage the traditional IT but also need to make large strides on managing BT (business technology). Tech Management in the Age of the Customer (Forrester Blogs)

With ITSM concepts and frameworks in existence for over 20 years, most people thought we probably have reached a plateau in term of squeezing more productivity out of ITSM efforts. Allen Houpt advocates that more productivity can still be had and suggests 10 tips to reduce service costs in a webcast. The Little “ITSM” Engine That Could (CA Service Management)

As a follow-up to a recent discussion in the Software Asset Management group on LinkedIn, Rory Canavan presents a detailed process model for Corporate Governance for a successful SAM implementation. Process of the Month – Corporate Governance Process (The ITAM Review)

As the cloud and big data trends develop, jargons and buzzwords have made them difficult for people to understand the real issues behind those trends. Jeremy Bergsman talks about how data protection and third-party risk management should be addressed in order to master the cloud and big data trends. Are Buzzwords Clouding Your Judgment? (CEB’s IT Blog)

When it comes to creating a strong foundation for customer loyalty management, Ted Rubin believes that your customer service department plays the most important role. He recommends four approaches to leverage your customer service team for effectively turning customers into fans. Customer Loyalty Management via the Customer Service Silo [] (Straight Talk)

Empowerment is a noble notion where people are given the opportunity to fully leverage their capability and contribute to their organizations. For some under-performing individuals, Rob England suggests that “empowering” people can sometime means setting them up for failure. Empowering the hopeless (The IT Skeptic)

In an IT project, a business analyst will often need to create a functional specification. Laura Brandenburg explains what a functional specification is and what information goes into it. What Goes Into a Functional Specification? (Bridging the Gap)

Mitch Joel believes that many people are doing it wrong when it comes to preparing for a public speech. He recommends a 22-step approach on how to prepare for one. How To Give A Great Presentation (Seriously) (Six Pixels of Separation)

After spending three years managing a recent start-up, Jeff Nolan wrote a series of blog posts to document the lessons learned as well as what worked and did not. Startup Lessons Learned: Hiring; Startup Lessons: Dynamic Org Structures; Startups Lessons: Product First; Startup Lessons: Marketing; Startup Lessons: Board Management; Startup Lessons: Tough Decisions (Enterprise Irregulars)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 30, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image24270014Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not quite. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

Faced with declining profits, too many businesses try cutting the costs instead of fixing the real, underlying problems. Bob Lewis believes the solution is for the business decision makers to take on more of an “engineer” mentality by investigating, analyzing, and fixing the problems rather than just the symptoms. Why refrigeration is key to successful management (IS Survivor Publishing)

Responding to a recent Forrester’s prediction of IT’s diminished role within an organization, Rob England argues why Forrester’s projection misses the mark. News of IT’s death is greatly exaggerated (The IT Skeptic)

Some have long predicted that IT will turn into an utility function, rendering itself less strategic or relevant to the business. Jon Hall explains why that might not be the case. Why the CIO won’t go the same way as the VP of Electricity (The ITSM Review)

With a number of organizations adopting cloud-based technologies services, Robert Stroud believes that effective cloud computing implementation requires effective and efficient service operations. He also suggests some starting points to consider. To the Cloud and Beyond! (CA Technologies)

The shadow IT organizations are usually seen as a source of risk and inefficiency, and a barrier to integration. Andrew Horne explains that there are two categories of shadow IT organizations – one category is helpful while the other is not. But Do You Have Enough Shadow IT? (CEB’s IT Blog)

Virtual teams have become a fact of business life. Michael Watkins outlines ten suggestions for making the virtual teams more productive and effective for everyone involved. Making Virtual Teams Work: Ten Basic Principles (Harvard Business Review)

Ted Rubin believes that blogging should be a key component of your social presence. He suggests four areas to focus on when using blogs for building relationships and enhancing engagement. Blogging Strategy as it Relates to Building Relationships (Ted Rubin)

In a world full of information and ideas, Anna Farmery suggests that the “listening” skill is just as vital as writing/speaking, if not more. Secret Skill of How to Make Money From Ideas (The Engaging Brand)

The conventional wisdom about leadership may suggest that success of an organization often has more to do with the leaders, rather than the followers. Marshall Goldsmith thinks it is often the opposite. It’s Not About the Coach (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Many organizations say the customer interactions are important to them, but their actions demonstrate something quite different. Seth Godin suggests some approaches of treating customers with respect. Your call is very important to us Because I opened the post with a refrigeration analogy, I will close with another. The thermostat and the frying pan (Seth’s Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – June 9, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-image-chinese-dragon-boat-festival-image25355311Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not quite. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

In order to manage IT services even more effectively, Jon Hall advocates that asset management must integrate more effectively with each other. He suggests ways where asset management can contribute to ITSM. How ITAM can influence the CIO (The ITAM Review)

There are many discussions surrounding how IT should be designed to support its user base. Melanie Karunaratne explains why it’s also crucial to understand that different users have different user requirements. User Oriented IT: It’s about Diversity, Context, and Interactions (LANDesk Blog)

Drawing from the discussion with Aaron McDaniel, Don Tennant outlines some approaches that younger managers can use to work with their older directs. Tips for Millennials on Overcoming the Awkwardness of Managing Baby Boomers (From Under the Rug)

With the recent news from the White House, Patrick Gray outlines what leadership lessons IT can learn from the recent events. Leadership lessons for IT from the White House (TechRepublic)

Drawing parallels using a movie analogy, Adrian Reed explains why the solutions can come only after the requirements are explored by the business analysts. The Set Comes After the Script and the Solution Comes After the Business Need (Bridging the Gap)

When people rely on each other without thoroughly knowing each other, sometimes an information vacuum can create with invalid assumptions or misperceptions. James Eblin explains what some effective leaders do to minimize those information vacuums. Three Steps for Leaders Who Want to Work Better with Their Peers (Eblin Group)

In today’s competitive landscape, changes are constant and can be daunting to face. Tom Asacker suggests that there is a way to confront the changes you need to face. One way out. (Tom Asacker)

Some leaders manage their people the way they would want to be managed. Marshall Goldsmith points out that such approach is not always effective. When the Golden Rule Doesn’t Work (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Most of us understand the importance of picking the right measurements. Seth Godin gives some examples of measuring the wrong things which lead to unintended results. Measuring without measuring (Seth’s Blog)

Here is one last post for your inspiration from Ted Rubin. “Your Value Doesn’t Decrease Based On Someone’s Inability To See Your Worth”… (Ted Rubin)

Fresh Links Sundae – March 24, 2013 Edition

http://www.dreamstime.com/-image28379626Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find them at least thought-provoking or something of value.

With ideas that come from years of executive experience in managing technology, Bob Lewis outlines the principles any IT professional looking to lead in the years ahead should consider. 19 principles every IT leader should heed | It management (InfoWorld)

IT services and resources are not infinite, and congestion can result from the demand placed on the IT services. Jon Hall suggests several approaches for managing the demand and making the services more assessable for an organization. Congestion charging… in IT? (Evolving ITSM)

With many technology solutions being procured outside IT’s involvement, Robert Stroud believes IT will need to change its ways if it hopes to stay relevant. Changing Role of the Service Manager in the Hybrid World (CA Technologies)

Using Kubler Ross’ Model of Grief, Michiel Croon discusses several different types of IT organization and explains why adapting processes and tools should always respect and reflect the nature of the IT organization. A service-type dependency adopting process and tooling (ITSM Portal)

For many things we do in IT, projects and processes seem to go hand-in-hand and often used interchangeably. Jan van Bon explains why projects are, by definition, independent from processes. Project or process – why is it so hard to use both? (ITSM Portal)

As the nature of work changes in organizations, Andrew Horne suggests that there are three competency areas for employees to master in order to be productive and how IT can help. It’s Time to Rethink IT Training and Support (CEB’s IT Practice)

In order to move an organization forward, Michael Schrage believes it is important to ask the right questions, or to have the right kind of important arguments within the organization. The Arguments Your Company Needs (Harvard Business Review)

Ted Rubin believes that assumptions have the tendency to limit ourselves to a narrow view of things. He advocates why it is necessary to challenge your assumptions if you want to be successful. The Problem with Assumptions (Ted Rubin)

All organizations periodically take on activities that add unnecessary costs and complexity. Ron Ashkenas explains why organizations take on those excessive activities and offers suggestions to minimize them. Why Organizations Are So Afraid to Simplify (Harvard Business Review)

Our positive beliefs about ourselves often help us become successful, and sometimes these same beliefs can make it tough for us to change. Marshall Goldsmith suggests ways we can overcome the success delusion and position ourselves to undertake the needed changes. The Success Delusion (Marshall Goldsmith Personal Blog)

Fresh Links Sundae – September 2, 2012 Edition

Fresh Links Sundae encapsulates some pieces of information I have come across during the past week. They maybe ITSM related or not entirely. Often they are from the people whose work resonates with me, and I hope you will find something of value.

I am a fan of the DevOps concept, and I freely admit it. Robert Stroud gives his observations and suggests potential projects that could be suitable for embracing DevOps. DevOps, fad, reality or simply the death of ITIL (CA on Service Management)

While most system monitoring systems focus on watching performance and availability anomalies, Sasha Gilenson suggests that neglecting change and configuration monitoring can also result in just as much as suffering. Monitoring Sucks (and What We Can Do About It) (Evolven Blog)

Coming back from the LEADit 2012 conference, Aprill Allen explains why the approach of collaboration is more practical to than the practice of knowing and controlling everything. The Future is Practical (Knowledge Bird)

Using examples from his firm, Perry Rotella describes what strategy an IT leader can leverage to track and to incorporate emerging technologies for facilitating business growth. To Claim the Role of Chief Innovation Officer, Think about IT Differently (Forbes)

While a merger can be a tremendous change management event, Patrick Gray suggests what IT leaders should do to successfully manage the transition. IT leaders: How to survive a merger (TechRepublic)

Modeling a complex business process can sometimes result in participants being stuck on an analysis exercise and unable to move forward. Laura Brandenburg shows us the ways to get ourselves unstuck when that happens. 5 Ways to End Analysis Paralysis on Your Next Business Process Model (Bridging the Gap)

Considering failure can be a great teaching tool, Jeff Haden describes one type of failure that should also be embraced. Most Important Failure You Haven’t Embraced (Inc.com)

With the availability of the social media platforms, Ted Rubin explains how advertising activities differs from the marketing ones and how social media is facilitating both sets of activities. Is Social Blurring the Lines between Advertising and Marketing? (Straight Talk)

Learning from the recent episode where United Airlines mishandled the travel of an unaccompanied minor, Bob Sutton discusses his thoughts on the different levels of organizational accountability. There is also a follow-up post on this topic. Felt Accountability: Some Emerging Thoughts (Work Matters)

Businesses continue to change, and changes often result in loss or casualty somewhere within the organization. It is always refreshing to see something that is a straight talk without the usual corporate double-speak and fluff. PopCap Update from John Vechey (Blog Ride!)